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KNOW Small Grants Fund Awardees – Second Round

KNOW is pleased to announce the second set of awards made by the KNOW Small Grants Fund. The Fund was set up to support scholars at UK universities, policy research institutions, and NGOs with a research portfolio to travel to KNOW partner cities to conduct primary research that relates to the theme of urban equality.

The second call for applications went live in October 2019. From a competitive field of applicants, the Selection Committee selected four projects that resonate closely with the work of our local partners and contribute new perspectives to our understandings of urban equality.

Congratulations to Andrea Jimenez Cisneros from the University of Sheffield, Cristian Fernando Olmos Herrera from the University of Brighton, Nikhilesh Sinha from Hult International Business School, and Isabel Young from the Young Foundation; the second cohort of KNOW Small Grants awardees.

Andrea Jimenez Cisneros research will take place in Lima, Peru, in collaboration with KNOW City Partner, Foro Ciudades Para La Vida. Their project, ‘Metropolitan water observatory’, will explore the potential of co-developing a virtual platform for citizens of Lima and Callao to input information, concerns and issues regarding water, in order to produce evidence that can influence decision-making towards more equal water distribution. Andrea is a Lecturer in Information Management at the Information School at the University of Sheffield. Her research interests include digital innovation and entrepreneurship in the global South and the role of ICTs in development.


Above: Participatory drawing and mapping session with the “Elderly Club San Lucas” in Toconao, Chile. Photo by Cristian Olmos Herrera, 2015.

Cristian Olmos Herrera’s research will also take place in Lima, Peru, in collaboration with KNOW City Partner, CENCA. His project, ‘Drawing as a device for recognising water practices in Lima’s peripheral settlements’, will examine and visualise narratives of everyday water practices in order to reveal spatial networks of people, institutions, and technology. The project aims to make visible the political economy of water in the city, focusing particularly on issues of unequal access. Cristian will also reflect critically on drawing as a way of co-producing knowledge for more equal cities. Cristian teaches at the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Brighton. His research interests include hydrosocial territories, public space, water management, and visual participatory methodologies.


Nikhilesh Sinha’s research will take place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in collaboration with KNOW City Partners, Ardhi University. Building on Nikhilesh’s previous research into the dynamics of rental housing submarkets in informal settlements in Hyderabad, India, his project, entitled, ‘An Institutional Analysis of Rental Housing Submarkets in Dar es Salaam’ will explore the factors that affect access to rental housing and the forces that shape relations between landlords and tenants in informal settlements in Dar es Salaam. As part of this research, Nikhilesh will review locally held knowledge, research, and documentation on rental housing at Ardhi University. Nikhilesh is a Faculty member and Research Fellow, at the Hult International Business School, London. His research interests include urban informality, affordable housing, rental dynamics, and micro-finance.


Above: ‘Bumping Spaces’ - People gathering outside a takeaway restaurant on the corner of Calles Aguila y San Lázaro in Centro Habana. Taken as part of a series about new businesses springing up around the city. Photo by Sylvia Hines, 2016.​

Isabel Young’s research will take place in Havana, Cuba. Her project, entitled, ‘Resident-Led Approaches to Urban Equality in relation to the Social Determinants of Health in Havana and London’, will examine the ways in which residents are working to improve health and wellbeing at the local level. The research will explore and share best practices between Havana and London, building capacity amongst residents who are responding to issues of health inequality in order to promote healthier, more equal cities. The project will be undertaken in collaboration with Cuban grassroots NGOs, including Blue Heart, community leaders and academics. Isabel Young is a Programme Manager at the Young Foundation, currently leading their work on community leadership and the Tower Hamlets Communities Driving Change programme. Her research interests include social inclusion, gender equality, and well-being.


We are delighted to be able to support these exciting pieces of research. We look forward to engaging with both the awardees on their contribution to KNOW’s multifaceted approach to constructing pathways to urban equality.

The third call for applications for the KNOW Small Grants Fund will be released in autumn 2020.



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